For two weeks, we’ve been waiting.
Praying for the news that ONE of the 23 families who had inquired about our sweet girl was ready, eligible and fully emotionally prepared to move forward to adopt her.
We have been thinking about this 7-year-old superhero who rocked our worlds both day and night, and all of us have reminisced and cried and laughed and ached as we have looked back on that precious month we had with her … and prayed it would only be the BEGINNING of her new story.
And TODAY, friends, it’s our honor and privilege to confirm that IT IS!
Our amazing God CHANGED JOY’S STORY! But we are SO THANKFUL that He used YOU — YOU, beautiful friends.
You who shared her posts.
You who surrounded her with love.
You who told her story.
You who spoiled her rotten.
YOU helped change this girl’s story so that, in what we hope will be less than a year, this girl we all love and adore and miss like crazy cakes will walk back down the streets of our community … this time, as a DAUGHTER.
I can’t even.
To this community who has rallied around Joy, THANK YOU.
To the incredibly special family now moving forward to bring home the angel we love, THANK YOU. There are no words to express our gratitude for the gift you just gave the girl who has stolen our hearts and rearranged our lives and will be our “niece” FOREVER.
And to the 23 families who actually inquired about Joy and the HUNDREDS MORE out there who likely considered it — please, let me urge you.
DON’T LET THE END OF JOY’S JOURNEY BE THE END OF YOURS.
We know that YOU fell in love with this girl the same way WE did. We know how her hugs and kisses made you beam, how her spontaneous stage-side dances just stopped your heart. And we know that MANY MORE families who prayed about this girl quietly began asking God if THEY could be the ones …
The ones to change Joy’s story.
Friends, it’s true that Joy’s story has now changed, but 600,000 children, most of them with “super” needs just like Joy’s, still sit in overcrowded orphanages in China waiting for SOMEONE to change THEIRS.
The beauty of orphan hosting is that it’s not just about finding a family for THIS girl — it’s about opening eyes to the beauty of ALL the little Joys out there — angels with that sparkly extra chromosome or those hard-to-place special needs that may look scary on paper but in reality, are the biggest blessings these families might ever receive.
Joy is not the only precious firecracker still living in an orphanage.
Thousands of Joys await.
And they would love NOTHING MORE than a mama and a baba and siblings to call their own! Let’s not just think about them. Let’s RUN TO THEM! Let’s FIGHT for them! Let’s provide medical care for them! And let’s give them a HOME.
Let's give them HOPE.
These children — they are just as beautiful and precious and amazing and loving as Joy. And all they need is a FAMILY to hand them their cape and bring out their super!
They are just waiting … waiting on the other end of YOUR ACTION to be BLESSED.
Maybe you wanted to be Joy’s family, maybe you wanted to adopt one of these superheroes with the sparkly extra chromosome, but you weren’t eligible.
Just because you can’t adopt doesn’t mean you can’t serve these orphaned and abandoned children Operation Orphan Warrior is now rallying around.
You can still go to THEM.
You can still take mission trips and long-term trips to VISIT them. To LOVE on them. To offer MEDICAL CARE for them. And to financially partner with well-established organizations like Love Without Boundaries to CARE for them.
Maybe YOU can be the ones who set up Orphan Warrior Camp One in the place that STOPS this crisis before it begins — IN COUNTRY, where we desperately need people to partner with birth mothers and offer resources and provide medical care so that families feel that abandonment isn’t their only option after birthing a child with medical needs.
Maybe YOU can be the one to set up the camp that changes the tide. That removes the stigma and starts transforming the way many very traditional families in this country VIEW and ACCEPT children with special and medical needs. Maybe YOU can fight the decades-long war to influence the CULTURE so that WE ELIMINATE the need for orphanages in a country where 90 to 98 percent of the 600,000 children who reside in them have special needs.
THIS operation — we can’t do it all. And we are focusing on the MOST URGENT need — caring for the casualties of the war so that these 600,000 older and special needs children aren’t the VICTIMS of a broken world with broken systems that keep parents from feeling that they can provide healthy homes for them.
Our focus is on running TO these children who are so beautiful, so valuable, so wonderful, so worthy, and finding them HOMES. In China (underground church in China, we're calling on YOU!). In the United States. In any place where they can experience the love of PARENTS instead of paid caretakers.
But this operation — it’s only going to take care of the casualties. It’s not going to stop the bleeding before it starts. And we need YOU — all of YOU who were TOUCHED by angels like Joy and THEIR BEAUTY and their LOVE — to step up and step out and start ACTING to ensure that angels like Joy are never abandoned in the first place.
That there is NO OPTION and NO REASON that a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome should be dropped on the front porch of an orphanage.
You could put Operation Orphan Warrior completely out of business! So that EVERYONE sees the VALUE and WORTH of these angels! So that everyone has access to resources to CARE for them! So that abandonment is not even a consideration in a mother’s mind when she makes that difficult choice.
You — YOU COULD DO THAT! And while you change minds and hearts and provide resources and partnerships, WE can get these kiddos who are the casualties OFF THE BATTLEFIELD. OUT OF ORPHANAGES. Into homes. Homes in China. Homes in the United States. Homes anywhere where there are loving PARENTS instead of paid caretakers to embrace them.
And together, working in concert, with God’s grace and guidance and leaning completely on His strength, we CAN change the Chinese orphan story.
One child at a time.
How do I know?
Because today, there are 600,000 mostly special needs children filling the crowded orphanages of China.
#operationorphanwarrior #changetheorphanstory #joysstoryCHANGED